Memorial Day Holiday Weekend Kicks Off 2013 Boating Season

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Memorial Day holiday weekend is regarded as the unofficial start to the summer boating season and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner.

Annually, the Memorial Day weekend is one of the year’s busiest boating weekends. Last year over the holiday weekend, there were no boating fatalities for the second consecutive year. There were six reported accidents, two of which resulted in injuries.

TWRA officers made 22 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests over the weekend, an increase of nine from 2011. Officers also issued 12 reckless/negligent operation citations.

In 2013, there have been nine boating-related fatalities in Tennessee. There were seven fatalities at this time last year.

Along with the use of life jackets, TWRA wants to stress the responsible use of alcohol while boating. It is important to consider the effects of drinking and driving whether on water or land. In a boat on the water, the effects of alcohol increase because of external stressors such as engine vibration, wave motion and glare from the sun. Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Tennessee.

For many Tennesseans, the Memorial Day weekend will be the first time to have the boat on the water this year.

TWRA officials say taking a few minutes to check some of the boat components may be the key to having a nice, safe day. Merely performing a simple maintenance check before getting on the water may prevent problems. Check hoses to make sure they are in good shape. Check spark plugs and be sure to use UL marine grade plugs.  Make sure the lights work and carry extra fuses and bulbs.

In addition, TWRA urges all boaters to remember the basics:

*have a wearable life jacket for every person onboard

*if your boat is 16 feet or longer, there must be a Type IV throwable device onboard

*have onboard a fire extinguisher if you have enclosed fuel compartments or cabins

*anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket at all times while the boat is underway – drifting is considered underway

*any boat operator born after Jan. 1, 1989 must have onboard the TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate

*keep alcohol to a minimum–choose a designated boat operator

*make sure there is a current boat registration

Boat Operation Basics:

*keep a proper lookout at all times

*maintain a safe speed

*practice good seasmanship

*cut the engine while boarding from the water or entering the water from the boat

*be aware of the carbon monoxide hazards that exist and keep fresh air flowing

*no wake means idle speed

*take a boating safety course – log on to www.tnwildlife.org for information.


TVA Invites Public To Experience National Public Lands Day

The Tennessee Valley Authority is inviting the public to participate in the 21 st   anniversary celebration of National Public Lands Day on   Sept. 27, and to volunteer their services to help care for public lands. TVA will be highlighting the many recreational opportunities available on the more than 290,000 acres of public lands and waters that TVA manages ... (click for more)

Tennessee State Parks Celebrate National Public Lands Day

In recognition of National Public Lands Day, Tennessee State Parks, along with Friends Groups, invite the public to take part in hikes and volunteer activities across the state on   Saturday, Sept. 27 . This year’s theme is “Helping Hands for America’s Lands.” Each of the 55 Tennessee State Parks will have scheduled hikes and volunteer opportunities. For each park’s ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed Multiple Times On Cleveland Avenue Early Thursday Morning

A woman was stabbed multiple times early Thursday morning. At approximately 3 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2104 Cleveland Ave. for a stabbing. Officers located a black female in the roadway suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS for her injuries and is in stable condition. Investigators have not been able to ... (click for more)

CARTA Leaders Welcome Study On Passenger Rail Service For Chattanooga

CARTA leaders said Thursday they welcome an upcoming $700,000 study on re-instituting passenger rail service for Chattanooga. Lisa Maragnano, executive director, said, "This fits right into our multimodal transit center study, which we have said needs to be by rail." She added, "This is really a cool thing." Chattanooga received a $400,000 federal grant for the study and ... (click for more)

Walking Among Memories, The USS LST-325

I have walked among the head stones at Flanders Fields and have seen the entrenchment of soldiers with only bayonet tips sticking out of the earth. Later I traveled to Normandy where I stood on the sand and made scuff marks with my shoes on Omaha Beach and climbed the hill to the magnificent American Cemetery there. I again walked among the many, many tomb stones so neatly and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Aunt Martha

During my first year at Ole Miss, I was so distracted by the stunning coeds on campus that I paid too much attention to the wrong kind of figures. I ended up flubbing a math class, which at the time was most serious and potentially deadly for an American boy. It meant I didn't have enough credit hours to avoid the draft and in almost no time I got a red, gut-retching postcard that ... (click for more)